How to terminate a troublesome employee

Discussion in 'Askaboutlaw' started by SeanA, Aug 29, 2007.

  1. SeanA

    SeanA Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    106
    I have a troublesome employee, really troublesome!!!

    What is the legal course of action for giving him his notice, do I first give him a verbal warning, followed by a written warning and what then?:( :confused: :mad: !!!
     
  2. lightup

    lightup Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    154
    Re: Warning an employee

    It all depends on the terms of the contract for employment and the reason for dismissal (i.e. contract may state for minor breach a warning will be given but for a major breach there may be a straight termination).

    The main thing to remember is to document absolutely everything. Incidents, time and dates must all be recorded as well as what your response was (e.g. 25/04/2007, employee breached x rule, management had one to one and gave verbal warning).
     
  3. greenfield

    greenfield Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    192
    Re: Warning an employee

    You should have written disciplinary procedures. Their absence does not stop you taking action but you must be extremely careful that you follow principles of natural justice (advising the employee of their rights, advising them in advance of any disciplinary or investigation meetings, respecting their right to know what they are accused off, allowing time to prepare your case, right to representation, etc, etc, etc). The procedures are set out in an LRC code of practice which can be seen at http://www.lrc.ie/documents/publications/codes/5GrievanceDisciplinary.pdf. However, I would strongly advise you to take advise from either a trade association, a HR advisor or a lawyer, especially if they have more than one years service. The consequences of not following procedures can be expensive and can include in the extreme an order to reinstate the employee.
     
  4. pat127

    pat127 Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    385
    Re: Warning an employee

    Seehttp://www.citizensinformation.ie/categories/employment/unemployment-and-redundancy/dismissal/fair-grounds-for-dismissal/?searchterm=dismissal

    In particular look at 'Fair Procedures' and the reference to the Code of Practice.
     
  5. ClubMan

    ClubMan Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    43,700
    Re: Warning an employee

    Google?
     
  6. Brendan Burgess

    Brendan Burgess New Member

    Posts:
    26,040
    Re: Warning an employee

    SeanA

    You should speak to a solicitor who specialises in this area or to the Small Firms Association or to ISME.

    You need to treat the employee fairly and according to procedures no matter how bad the employee is. Many cases in the Employee Appeals Tribunal are lost, not because the dismissal was not warranted, but because the correct procedures were not followed.

    Brendan
     
  7. SeanA

    SeanA Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    106
    Re: Warning an employee

    Thanks for that, I have one big problem in that I bought the company with employees and there were no contracts or terms of employment in place when I took over but presume natural law applies.
     
  8. Brendan Burgess

    Brendan Burgess New Member

    Posts:
    26,040
    Re: Warning an employee

    I would think that the Unfair Dismissals Act might have priority over natural law!
     
  9. bpi

    bpi Registered User

    Posts:
    21
    Re: Warning an employee

    SeanA,

    I dont want to tell you how to run your business...this is simply my opinion. Have you considered the cost of redundancy? The cost of advertising to fill the position? Agency fees etc etc? It might be worth trying to resolve the situation first.

    I have been in the situation where I have had to let people go on numerous occassions...Its nearly always harder to fill the vacancy.
     
  10. SeanA

    SeanA Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    106
    Re: Warning an employee

    No definitely BPI I have no option but to get rid of him, I've had several complaints from customers about him and expect it to start costing me shortly if I don't get rid of him, but thanks for the advice.
     
  11. dam099

    dam099 Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    866
    Re: Warning an employee

    Also you are asking do I "first give him a verbal warning, followed by a written warning and what then?"

    That sounds like you have already decided to sack him and now will go through these formalities to make it look nice and legal.

    I would have thought to show due process you should make a genuine effort to remedy his behaviour by way of verbal and written warnings and then if that still hasn't worked sack him, who knows a formal disciplinary process might shock him into better behaviour, if it doesn't then of course sack him. Unless of course he is guilty of gross misconduct which would justify instant dismissal but as said legal advice would be warranted.
     
  12. Happy Girl

    Happy Girl Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    776
    Re: Warning an employee

    Just wondering in this situation if you make an employee redundant and then advertise their position again surely the employee who has been made redundant would have a grounds for complaint.
     
  13. ClubMan

    ClubMan Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    43,700
    Re: Warning an employee

    I thought that technically somebody can only be made redundant when the job they do becomes redundant to the organization and it cannot reassign them? Also - if redundancy is used as an excuse to ditch somebody but somebody else is hired as a replacement then the employer may not be able to claim (part of?) any statutory redundancy payments made back from the DETE if applicable. I suspect that using redundancy as a was of sacking somebody may be problematic. It's not impossible for employers to fire employees - they just need to do it properly and within the relevant laws. Which is why you most likely need professional advice on employment law etc.
     
  14. dodo

    dodo Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    1,128
    Re: Warning an employee

    Verbal,written, then final warning then you can go forward with terminating their service,
     
  15. Flax

    Flax Guest

    I had to fire people in a previous job.

    Verbal, written and then termination works fine. When terminating I would write them a cheque for the remainder of their months salary which always softened the blow somewhat.
     
  16. Mpsox

    Mpsox Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    1,615
    You need to be veery careflul here. Firstly the staff who came across to your organisation when you bought the business kept their service and many of their entitlements under the Transfer of Undertakings of Permanent Employee (TUPE) legislation
    Secondly if you have not given them written contracts by now, regardless of what their previous employer did or did not do, you could be actually breaking the law as it is now your responsibility to have these in place.
    Unless the employee has committed gross misconduct it is difficult these days to simply sack someone. In addition, you should try(or at least be seen to try) to resolve the issue without sacking. Therefore I would siggest you put contracts, disciplinary and grievance procedures in place ASAP. In addition, have a one to one with the person, they may not even realise they are doing what they are doing.
    Also you should join IBEC or the Small Business equivalent(can't think of it's correct name), well worth the cost
     
  17. jem

    jem Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    560
    Mpox you are thinking of the Small Firms Association(SFA)
    .
    I always advise my clients if they are buying a business that the deal must include the fact that they are buying it with NO employees. All redundancy, holiday pay ect must be paid up by the vendor. That way you are starting with a clean slate and have the right to decide who you employ and who you don't.
    I know you obviously didn't do this. Therefore I would like those above advise you to get onto the professionals and get clear instructions on how to do this correctly.
    One of the problems in Ireland is the fact that employee rights have gone a little too far and it is very difficult to get rid of an employee.